Why Upgrade from Showcase 9 to Showcase 10?
In addition to supporting and replicating the majority of the Showcase 9 feature set, the following features are available with Showcase 10:
A Viewpoint Dashboard provides a quick access screen to Viewpoint objects (views/queries, reports, tables), webpages, and gauges. Action buttons can be added to kick off Viewpoint scripts or other processes. Add images and text elements to customize the look of your dashboard any way you like. Dashboards are run using Viewpoint (explorer screen or Viewpoint shortcut), or with a web browser.
Drill down is supported with two methods:
- Regroup/Show Details: Any grouping (summary) view/query, once it is displayed, can be regrouped using any of the fields from the file(s) in the view/query plus any derived fields. Also, the supporting detail can be “drilled into” for any grouped record.
- Drill-Down Applications: Drill from any query result set to another query, using pre-built drill-to paths. In addition to drilling into IBM i data, a drill-down option can be created to integrate IBM i data with enterprise data from other platforms. Links can be made to PC applications and network data. With the VPSHELL command, requests can be made to launch Excel and open a spreadsheet, launch a browser to display a specific webpage, and even open Windows applications.
Provide end users interaction with IBM i and other supported databases, exploring and summarizing large quantities of data quickly with Viewpoint Client Tables. With this interactive OLAP tool, data can be viewed in a multitude of ways. Users can perform as much interactive analysis as they need locally, including data filtering, drill-down, data marking, dimensional pivoting, ranking, print/preview, and graphing. All of this power is available, without requiring changes to current relational or multidimensional database systems.
Multiple Database Support
From a central IBM i server, use Showcase to access data from remote databases, including Db2, Oracle, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and others.
Browser Support Available
Sequel Web Interface (SWI) is the easiest and most cost-effective way to access and work with Showcase objects—dashboards, views/queries, reports, tables, scripts, and applications—using just a web browser. With SWI, you can run your view/query and table objects (static and prompted) to display results, store as local files or IBM i files, or send as an email attachment. All Showcase objects can be run and have their output directed with a few mouse clicks. SWI requires additional licensing.
Viewpoint Explorer has a new modernized interface that creates more space for displaying your Viewpoint objects while providing a more friendly, interactive, intuitive, and powerful interface for Showcase end users with easy, single-click access to Showcase objects.
The Auto Join feature automates the process of joining files in Viewpoint during the design process. Auto Join is a user selectable option that draws on information stored in a file in the Showcase library. When enabled, this facility automatically searches for all file pairs that can be derived from the files in the FROM clause, and then generates the join clause by including all relevant join information available.
Scripting (Cross Database Access and Support)
Scripts allow you to include multiple commands in a script definition, thus avoiding the technical requirements of writing CL programs. Scripts provide a means for running a multiple step process interactively or in batch from Viewpoint, from Sequel Web Interface, or from a command line.
Script Views are the latest incarnation of the standard script and combine the multi-step processing capabilities of standard scripts with the ability to direct results to multiple output options like a view. Script Views make it very easy to extract data from different databases and combine them into a single results set.
Custom View Results Display (View Grid)
View and Table results can be customized using colors (fonts and backgrounds) and by creating levels of grouping and summary information. You can create a custom display for each of your views/queries and tables or apply a user default format.
Enhanced Variable (Prompting) Support/Features
Adding variables to your query definitions is greatly improved with the following:
- 50 distinct or 64 total variables allowed in a view/query
- With the five different prompt types–quoted string, number, date, expression, and name (for objects like library, file, field, member)–you can create a variable for anything in the SQL
- Modify auto-prompts with calendar control or multi-select capability prompts
- Integrity tests to ensure values are input correctly
- Dependent variables that can filter based on another variable
Document Object Relationships
View/query, host table, and host report definitions can be documented through the Display View/Table/Report Definition commands (DSPVIEWD, DSPTBLD, DSPRPTD).
These commands send information about a given object to the display, printer, or an output file. The output file lets you cross- reference the views/queries used by the reports or tables and can be loaded into the Abstract documentation system. These commands also retrieve the SQL statement and/or view creation parameters. You can also document the database files referenced by the view/query and determine field usage.
The SQL for your query is created automatically for you as you use the various dialogs and wizards. You can easily modify SQL any time you are in the design interface.
Graphic files can be merged with spooled file data as an overlay (like a watermark) when creating PDF output. PDF output can be created from views/queries, tables, and reports either when saving output as an IFS/PC document or sending results as an email attachment.
The selection of the files used, and their individual placement and scale attributes, is controlled using the Change Image Overlay display.
Graphs can be created easily for view/query and table reports and saved on the desktop or added to a dashboard. Quick- access view/query short- cuts can be created to also include graph results.
Email, FTP, and Report Distribution
Basic Esend gives you the ability to automatically email your results in a variety of formats, such as XLS and PDF. IBM i spooled files can also be emailed, and you can even use FTP to send IBM i database files or IFS files across servers. Additional licensing not required for basic Esend.
Host Command Interface/Access
All Showcase features can be accessed through the IBM i command interface. Anyone with access to a command entry line can use them simply by using the appropriate Showcase command. Showcase requests can be easily integrated into Showcase scripts; job schedulers; or programs written in CL, RPG, COBOL, or other high-level languages. Showcase can be used to relieve programs (and programmers) from the tedium of acquiring the exact set of data required for processing. Complex processes can be designed and executed within programs that use Showcase to access data rather than performing the laborious task of accessing the data directly.
Excel Plug-in for Office 2010 (64-bit)
The Showcase 10 Excel plug-in provides support for 64-bit Excel.
Showcase 10, including the Viewpoint Repository (C&DS replacement) can be replicated in high availability environments.
Benefits of Centralized Storage
Once queries and reports are migrated to user space objects and saved to IBM i, they can be added to your backup routines. Duplication of effort by users will be reduced by sharing queries and reports.